University lecturer swaps hockey sticks for glitter balls at next month's Strictly Northampton event

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

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A lecturer from the University of Northampton will be among the stars taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton show.

The annual event, organised by Step By Step Dance School, takes place this year on November 19 at the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

University of Northampton Senior Lecturer, Karen Woolley - who teaches undergraduate and postgraduate Physical Education – is one of this year’s 24 selected contestants.

Now in its seventh year, the contestants have just eight weeks to learn Ballroom and Latin American dance routines, before dancing in front of a packed auditorium. The dancers will perform before a judging panel and a live audience, with the winner on the night taking home the coveted Strictly Northampton glitterball trophy.

Karen felt inspired to put on her dancing shoes and ballgown for the event as the chosen charity for 2016 is Teenage Cancer Trust.

She explained: “I want to make a difference to the teenagers and students in Northamptonshire, ensuring that when they go through this horrible time they can have family or friends to stay and support them. I want to raise enough money to kit out a hospital room from the University of Northampton, and for it to be a welcoming homely environment to get better in.”

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

Karen Woolley is taking part in this year's Strictly Northampton event at Royal & Derngate on November 19

Tickets for the show are available from the Royal & Derngate website.

You can also get involved by sponsoring Karen and donating to the Teenage Cancer Trust; just visit Karen’s JustGiving page. JustGiving sends your donation straight to Teenage Cancer Trust and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, making your donation worth even more.

Karen isn’t the first University of Northampton staff member to take part in Strictly Northampton; two former University of Northampton people have taken part in the danceathon. In 2014, the then Students’ Union president Victor Agboola competed in the event, and in 2013 Stephanie Boak, who was then Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer, took part – personally raising £1,000 for Cynthia Spencer Hospice in the process.